Dogs are a man’s best friend. When it comes to the wellness of our beloved pet, as fur parents, we want to go above and beyond to ensure the health and wellbeing of our dog is met. We wish they could live with us forever.
As humans, the health benefits of medicinal mushrooms and culinary mushrooms are profound, but have you considered, can dogs have mushrooms to boost their health too?
This article aims to explore mushrooms and dogs. Can dogs eat mushrooms? Which species are safe mushrooms for dogs to eat and which types are toxic to dogs?
Mushroom poisoning in dogs is real. This article will educate you on which mushrooms to avoid to keep your fur buddy safe as dog owners.
We dive into the health benefits of medicinal mushrooms and which types are safe for your dog to eat to support the immune system, enhance liver function, boost antioxidants and more.
Compared to the plant kingdom, the fungi kingdom is a largely undiscovered field. Many new species of mushrooms are being discovered in mycology every year.
There are roughly 1% of mushroom species that are known as poisonous and dangerous for humans and toxic to dogs. The same can be said about the plant kingdom.
Can dogs eat mushrooms?
There are many mushrooms which are safe and very healthy for humans and dogs to eat. These health promoting mushrooms offer a myriad of health benefits. Eat mushrooms packed with micronutrients, boost antioxidants, lower stress and anxiety, contain anti-tumour properties, enhance the immune system, lower cholesterol and more.
As we mentioned, just like humans, there are mushrooms that are not safe for dogs to eat and may be poisonous and potentially deadly.
The key difference between safe mushrooms and dangerous or poisonous mushrooms is whether they’re wild mushrooms your dog has just found and eaten up, which tends to be the more dangerous, toxic and harmful mushrooms as there is no control for the species or amount consumed. But when you consciously add mushrooms to your pet’s food, the specific medicinal mushrooms that elicit a wide array of health benefits mushrooms can be very beneficial to your dog.
Depending on which mushroom, or mushrooms, your dog has consumed, the level of mushroom toxicity and outcome will vary.
If your dog does eat mushrooms found in the wild and is behaving differently or displaying symptoms, take them immediately to a vet for supportive care.
Generally speaking, unless you’re a trained mycologist with experience in the field, most dog owners will not be able to identify safe or poisonous mushrooms in the wild toxic to dogs.
Therefore, to be extra safe and avoid mushroom poisoning, keep your dog away from all wild mushrooms while out walking in nature.
This list below presents the types of poisonous mushrooms toxic to dogs:
As its name suggests, the death cap mushroom is poisonous to both humans and dogs so we must all avoid this mushroom. Its appearance is a white / light green color and is one of the most dangerous.
Amanita phalloides contains amanitin toxins that cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms generally six hours or more after ingestion with a “false recovery” period following, with significant liver damage or liver failure as the result of ingestion.
Amanita ocreata contains amanitin toxins and its appearance is a light white with dark spots. Angel of death causes damage to the liver and kidneys and gastrointestinal disturbances may be the first sign of poisoning. Consumption of this mushroom can be fatal.
The Lepiota genus is a family of gilled mushrooms that elicit neurological toxicity as they contain amatoxins. They are usually found in woodlands.
Galerina is a genus of small brown-spore saprobic mushrooms, with over 300 species found throughout the world. One common species, Galerina marginata, is an brown to yellow-brown looking mushroom that are as potentially dangerous and deadly as the death cap. Usually found growing on decaying wood.
This Panaleous species are small, dark spotted, gilled mushrooms and usually brown in appearance. Mostly found in grasslands and woodlands, these species disrupt the neural networks and can cause urination and diarrhoea as key symptoms.
If ingested by your dog, Panther cap elicits salivation, urination and diarrhea symptoms, as well as neurological dysfunction symptoms, and can see them dropping into a coma like sleep. Panther cap looks like a dark brown mushroom with white spots and has a fishy odor.
Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric is most common of the Amanita mushrooms. Amanita muscaria is the stereotypical fairy mushroom or Christmas mushroom, red with white spots.
This species is not common in urban or city areas. When ingested, the fly agaric mushroom can cause neurological symptoms, tremors, an inability to walk correctly and seizures in dogs.
Amanita gemmata is another species of the Amanita mushrooms that should be avoided by your dog.
Gyromita esculenta is not fatal. However, if consumed it may cause vomiting, diarrhoea and can cause seizures. Gyromita esculenta is dark brown and brain-like, usually found in woodlands and forests.
Gyromita caroliniana looks like a wrinkled red-brown cap and can grow quite large. Found in hardwood forests, it contains gyromitrin, (as does gyromita esculenta and other Gyromitra spp) which is a known toxic compound.
Entolomo looks like a large pink-gilled mushroom and contains the toxin, muscarine. Entolomo mushrooms cause gastrointestinal irritation and although not fatal, will continue these symptoms for 1-2 days after ingestion.
Boletus will cause GI irritation, and like Entolomo, not fatal. Boletus mushrooms have a brown cap and grow in forests and plantations.
Chlorophyllum is a genus of large agarics similar in appearance to the true parasol mushroom. It is the most commonly eaten poisonous mushroom in North America. It elicits gastrointestinal toxicity if eaten by your dog. This species is widespread and can grow near urban and city areas. It has a white-brownish cap with large brown scales on it.
So far we've discussed can dogs have mushrooms. In fact, there are more mushrooms safe for dogs to eat than toxic to dogs or species that cause mushroom poisoning in dogs.
Just like humans, culinary mushrooms have been shown to be safe for dogs to eat. These are some of the commonly found mushrooms that you can purchase from your local grocery store including porcini, cremini, portobello and white button mushroom.
To maximize the benefits of culinary mushrooms, they should always be cooked first. However, there is no danger if your dog does eat mushrooms in their raw state.
If you’re looking to elevate your dog’s health, medicinal mushrooms offer a wide range of benefits to improve general wellbeing. There are many medicinal mushrooms on the market that enhance health, however, the most commonly used for dogs are Reishi mushroom, Maitake mushroom and Shiitake mushroom.
Let your dog eat mushrooms of this variety:
The health benefits of Reishi Mushroom are so profound, this fungus is the most widely studied mushroom in the world. Known as the “Queen of Mushrooms,” Reishi helps calms the central nervous system, lowers stress and anxiety, enhances the immune system and is incredible for supporting a healthy cardiovascular system, and contains anti-tumour and anti-cancer properties.
Try including Teelixir organic Reishi Mushroom products in your dog's diet.
Extensive scientific research is proving that Maitake extract may be the most effective immune supportive mushroom of all. Maitake mushrooms are one of nature’s richest sources of beta glucan polysaccharides, also known as “biological response modifiers”, for their powerful ability to activate the immune system.
Maitake mushroom has shown to improve cholesterol and blood lipids and support healthy cardiovascular function. It also has anti-diabetic and anti-hypercholesterolemia benefits as well.
Try including Teelixir organic Maitake Mushroom extract in your dog's diet.
Shiitake mushroom is a super potent immune boosting mushroom which may elicit anti-cancer and anti-tumour benefits. It also offers anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and just overall great for modulating and supporting the immune system. Dried Shiitake mushroom may also contribute dietary vitamin D.
You can find Shiitake mushroom extract featured in the Teelixir Mushroom Immunity blend.
Porcini mushrooms are edible culinary mushrooms that are dark brown and have a nutty, earthy flavour, usually found in Italian cuisines or found dried. Dried mushrooms provide a good dose of Vitamin D due to their sun exposure, as well as being an antioxidant, a good source of protein, fibre and potassium.
Cremini mushrooms are the common brown mushrooms also found in supermarkets and fresh produce stores. Cremini mushrooms are a dietary source of choline, betaine, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and selenium.
White button mushroom are the common mushrooms we see in the produce section at the store. White button mushrooms are the baby and youngest of the mushrooms, harvested early. White button mushrooms are rich in Vitamin D, selenium and phosphorus.
Portobello mushrooms are the larger, wider mushrooms, the grown-up adult versions of white button mushrooms. These mushrooms are rich in the antioxidant compound, ergothioneine, and are an additional source of B2, copper and selenium.
Overall, culinary mushrooms are safe for dogs and all provide dietary choline, selenium, B vitamins, phosphorous and insoluble fiber from Chitin – the mushrooms fungal wall which can help modulate the microbiome and lower cholesterol.
Mushrooms may provide each of these immune protective benefits–antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-viral.
When it comes to your dog’s health, the anti-parasitic aspect is a highly supportive benefit since our pets are exposed to numerous pathogens that humans are not. If your dog does eat mushrooms, it may help support a healthy microbiome and protect against invading parasites.
Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from diabetes and increased lipids in their blood which drives heart disease and cardiovascular issues. Mushrooms have been shown to improve blood sugar and blood lipid balances and can support these systems in our dogs too.
Antioxidants help balance inflammation and oxidative stress. We know inflammation is an underlying driver of disease formation, whether it be arthritis, cancer or accelerated ageing. By consuming antioxidant rich mushrooms, it can support your dog’s overall wellbeing.
Research has demonstrated that medicinal mushrooms may elicit potential antitumor and anti-cancer properties which has made them such a focal point in science. Medicinal mushrooms may be a beneficial superfood for dogs to help regulate tumor growth and formation. Please consult with your veterinarian first.
Mushrooms improve the function and structure of our dogs’ cardiovascular system–the heart, blood vessels, arteries, veins, and circulation. This is beneficial since dogs are generally very active running around and playing all the time. Mushrooms can help improve their endurance and fitness levels, as well as protect them from developing cardiovascular diseases.
Mushrooms are known to support detoxification pathways due to their hepatoprotective (liver supportive) properties. Additionally, mushrooms help support a healthy gut microbiome which are two key organs–the liver and gut–involved in detoxification.
Since dogs are exposed to the same environmental pollutants, heavy metals, pesticides, fungicides, chemicals, parasites and pathogens as humans, it’s equally important that all those harmful compounds are successfully detoxified and excreted out of the body.
Mushrooms possess immunomodulating properties that help support and balance the immune system. The immunomodulating benefits of mushrooms help protect dogs from parasites, nourish skin health, support detoxification, soothe allergies and may halt tumour growth.
For the best supportive care, it’s recommended that you consult with your veterinarian before including any new medicinal mushroom or supplement in your dog’s diet.
When adding medicinal mushrooms into your dog’s diet, for maximum benefits and ease of use, add a concentrated extract powder into your dog’s daily food.
For dosage guidelines, depending on the breed and size of your dog, it’s recommended that you add 1-2.5 grams per day or 20-50 milligrams per 1 kilogram of body weight.
Adding in the recommended dose of mushroom extract powders into your dog’s diet is an easy and effective way to support the health and wellbeing of your dog.
There are over sixty species of mushrooms that are known to be toxic to dogs and cause mushroom toxicity. Signs and symptoms of mushroom poisoning in dogs can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, dehydration, labored breathing, loss of appetite, and can occur 2-24 hours after consumption. More serious affects are abdominal pain, liver damage and kidney failure.
If your dog does eat mushrooms in the wild and is behaving differently or showing symptoms of mushroom poisoning, we recommend you take them immediately to a vet.
If your dog does eat mushrooms in the wild, symptoms or mushroom poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, dehydration, labored breathing and no appetite. These symptoms may occur 2-24 hours after consumption.
If your dog eats healthy culinary or medicinal mushrooms, these varieties are safe for dogs and will not cause any negative effects.
There are many healthy and safe mushrooms for dogs to eat including the culinary mushrooms –white button, shiitake, portobello and more. Medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi, Maitake, Cordyceps and Turkey Tail are also great for a dog’s wellbeing for their incredible health promoting benefits.
Reishi Mushroom, Maitake Mushroom and Shiitake Mushroom are three good mushrooms for dogs to eat.
Can dogs eat mushrooms? We hope this article has explained mushrooms and dogs and which types of mushrooms are good for dogs and which types to avoid.
It’s important to be cautious and avoid letting your dog eat mushrooms in the wild that grow on people lawns or while out walking in parks or in the forest.
Mushroom poisoning in dogs is real and we don't want that to happen to your fur buddy!
Learn more about the safe and healthy mushroom types like the culinary and medicinal mushrooms. These varieties are safe for canine consumption and offer numerous health benefits.
Remember, consult with your veterinarian before including any new medicinal mushroom or supplement into your dog’s diet.
Eliza Hedley is a health, mindset and abundance enthusiast obsessed with helping millennial's experience living at a higher level.
Eliza's relaxed new age approach and understanding of nutrition and wellness sees her empowering and coaching individuals to understand that their health is the ultimate asset. Upon experiencing first hand the power and place of tonic herbalism and medicinal mushrooms in everyday life, Eliza’s become an adaptogen fangirl and feels their utilisation in today’s world is essential for abundance and wellbeing.